Having a good playlist going while you are working out can really improve your workout. A good song comes on, and you just go with the beat and can push yourself that little bit further than you normally would. Get an iPod shuffle, fill it with 200 of your favorite pump up songs, and you are good to go. You will forget all about everyone else in the gym working out. It becomes you, the beat, and your workout. An iPod shuffle is only around $50 these days, and clips right on to your shirt or shorts keeping them out of the way while you get your sweat on.
I love my MPOW Swift Bluetooth headphones, and for $40 you can’t go wrong. When I first saw these, I thought I was dreaming; it was like something that only exists in the future and they must be horrible quality to sell for so cheap. Nope, they are great. The sound quality is excellent, and they have a 4-5 hour battery life – enough for 2-3 workouts before they need a charge. They have excellent noise isolating earbuds as well, coming with multiple attachments for all ear sizes. These Bluetooth headphones are lightweight, and aren’t bulky either. The best part though, is no cord! I always find myself ripping my headphones out accidentally when working out, but with cordless Bluetooth headphones they sit in your ear with no risk of falling out. Now, to use the Bluetooth headphones you need to upgrade to an iPod Nano to get the Bluetooth connection, or you can just bring in your phone to connect by just a few touches on your screen.
Not a ton of people use a log book at the gym, but if you actually want to get serious and track your progress, actually writing it down really helps. If you don’t want to write it down, there are plenty of iPhone apps out there that can help you keep track of your workouts too (google My Fitness Pal). A lot of people plateau in their workouts and they can’t seem to up their weight or their reps – they get stuck, which is very easy to do when you can’t see the trends in your workouts. Keeping a log allows you to look at your history to always try to beat what you did before, or allows you to set progress points where you will up your weight or number of reps based on time and not how “you feel that day”. If you keep a log up you can also see trends in your workouts and try to discern the patterns of what types of training works for you and what doesn’t.
Having a gym partner is one of the best things you can do to get you out of the gate and into a routine. When you workout by yourself, there is no accountability. There is no one watching you workout, seeing how hard you are pushing yourself, or motivating you to keep going or push just a little harder. That all has to come from inside yourself, which is a pretty daunting task for many of us because let’s face it, when we are faced with adversity, the easiest thing to do is to give up. It takes real determination and drive to keep your self motivated and really strive to be the best. When you have a gym partner with you, you can rely on each other for that motivation, for the determination that neither of you could find on your own. Plus, skipping workouts now becomes that much harder because you both have to agree to skip a workout, meaning you will more often than not still go to the gym when you don’t feel like working out initially, but you always feel great afterwards. So do yourself a favor, and get yourself a gym partner with the same goals as yourself; it will make maintaining a workout routine will be miles easier, make your workouts more fun, and help you see better results.
And there you have it. The entry list of items to help you get into a workout routine and stay motivated. Of course you don’t need all of the above items, the bare minimum you need is a shirt, some sort of clothing for your legs, and shoes. Sometimes however, people need a little bit of extra motivation, whether it’s a pump up playlist banging through their headphones, the newest pair of leggings, you want to go show off, or some pre-workout to get you pumped up for the gym. All of the above can help you start working out, but above all remember, do not be afraid of being judged at the gym. The only people who are judging are the jerks who don’t have any friends or any life outside of the gym and being strong is their only way of feeling important in this world. Everyone else there is rooting for you to get in shape. So get off the damn computer and go lift so weights!